4.5 yr old DS - Bedtime Misery!!!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-01-2009, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am at my wit's end!!! This child will not go to bed. Every frickin' night we have a go round about this. We are very consistent with bedtime and routine. We do the whole process and put him down and he agrees that he'll go right to sleep, etc. and then he gets up every 5-10 minutes for at least an hour if not two.

He wakes up in the morning super crabby and upset and I know its because he's not getting enough sleep. He does still nap some but this seems to happen whether he's had a nap that day or not. Ironically, he goes right down for naps with no issues whatsoever.

This is extraordinarily frustrating. He's being such a grump lately and I know its at least in part because he's tired but I cannot figure out how else to get him to go the heck to bed! This is the only alone time I get with my DH and I really don't want to give that up. Plus, I'm newly pg with #2 and I'm really tired so I often want to head to bed when he does right now and I can't cuz we have to fight his getting up for 2 hours.

Got any ideas?? :

First and foremost, Mama to Owen blahblah.gif (7/21/04), Annalieseenergy.gif  (7/29/09), and somebody new bigeyes.gif  (due Feb 2012), and wife to Andrew (9/12/98). Also passionate about and loving the work I do in Organizational Development.

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Old 01-01-2009, 04:35 AM
 
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Go to bed with him would be my only suggestion because it's the only thing that works with my girls.

I know that's not what you want, but I don't have experience with anything else myself.

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Old 01-01-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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hang in there. i am assuming you plan to send him to school.

after 5 years of sleep fighting my dd finally started going to bed without a fight at 5 when she started K.

she did fight in the beginning. but then seh would be tired and cranky at school. at 4 at dc at least she would have naptime to catch up if she needed to. so she quickly learnt to go to bed when she had to.

she is 6 now and i dont see the sleep fighting anymore. well mostly of couse.

oh also i noticed around your sons age she suddenly grew v. mature AND needed a lot more physical play. so after dc (how can anyone have so much energy after being in a dc for 9 hours) we would go to the park or the grocery store or the library where she would walk around or climb the stairs a million times to get the extra energy out of her. if i could have afforded it i would have definitely signed her up for some gymnastics or swim classes.

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Go to bed with him would be my only suggestion because it's the only thing that works with my girls.
This!

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
go to the park or the grocery store or the library where she would walk around or climb the stairs a million times to get the extra energy out of her. if i could have afforded it i would have definitely signed her up for some gymnastics or swim classes.
And This!

My DS is 4.5. I "sleep" with him, while DH sleeps with DD. He then can't get out of bed 20 times, he enjoys me being there and relaxes faster, and it actually gives me 10-20 minutes of peace myself, to rest and relax, so I can then have the rest of the night with DH. (Though 1-2 nights a week I just fall asleep with him!). Get a big bed so you can be comfy too. Or a mattress on the floor. You'll enjoy it when your pregnancy "I AM SOOOO TIRED" stage kicks in. I also second meemee's suggestion to wear the little one's out during the day. My DS is outside almost every day, but on days when he is hiking, really running around.... his head hits the pillow and he is out in 10 min.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:25 AM
 
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What is it like when you take him back to bed? Do you talk to him and engage him in the process. This will significantly extend how long he is up. He knows it's bedtime, you don't have to tell him every time you take him back to bed. Just quietly take him back and put him in bed and leave the room. DD went through a brief period when she would get out of bed several times after bedtime. A few days of putting her back to bed in a matter-of-fact manner and she was over it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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For us, sleep issues were more health-related than behavior-related. Supplemental magnesium really helped my daughter, I give it at bedtime now, even dinnertime will work. Magnesium (and zinc, though it's not usually sleep-related) are two minerals that are harder to get adequate amounts of via diet, and some people need more than the typical person out there. My son needs both melatonin and magnesium (like I said, we've got health things we're working on--they look subtle, but they're not).
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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Is he just getting up? Or is he getting up saying he's thirsty, needs to potty, etc. For the latter, I just make sure that part of our bedtime routine is to address all those needs in advance. We always have some water, go to the bathroom etc., so if she says she needs to do one of those things I know it's just stalling and I tell her no. She has pretty much stopped asking. But so far, even though she is a big sleep fighter, she does mostly stay in her bed so I don't have a lot of experience with this issue (she's 3.5). I will say that when she's having trouble falling asleep and awake playing in her bed, I'll sometimes lie down with her until she's sleepy or asleep and that helps. I will also sometimes give her an herbal tincture that has valerian, skullcap and some other soothing herbs in it when she is having a really hard time settling and that usually helps. I get it from our homeopath, but you can get that type of stuff at the hfs.

Good luck. DD1 has been a sleep fighter since birth, and while it's better in many ways now, I'm still waiting for it to get really better. Thank goodness dd2 is better about it. Not great, but much better.

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Old 01-02-2009, 09:31 PM
 
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We have always read and then snuggled with each child as they went to sleep (DH and I rotate who has which child). This gives us special time with each kid, meets their need for physical affection even if we've been away from each other all day, and not-so-incidentally keeps them in bed. It takes about 10-15 minutes for both of my kids to relax and fall asleep once I've turned the light out, after which I gently remove myself and go about my evening. Its much less time and trouble than it would be if I tried to have them fall asleep without me. Plus it forces me to take 15 minutes to relax myself - something I don't do often enough.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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what time do you put dc to bed. I moved my boys bed time back an hour and they go down much smoother now. At first it seemed like such an infringement on my time with dh but really we were spending that time on bedtime hassles any ways so I figured why not. However if one of my kids usualy ds1 is super cranky and tiered during the day I reserve the right to move it up. My kids arnt nappers so YMMV

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Old 01-03-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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Maybe some soothing music or stories on tape to keep him in bed?

I vividly remember being really agitated as a young child because my mom would force me to stay in bed. She tells stories about how she would hear my footsteps behind her before she got to the stairs.

Now I am blessed with an echo of my own self. He sometimes lays in bed for an hour or more listening to music and stories. He gets up and finds me when he needs the disc changed. It's either that or fight about it every night, and I don't think I would win.

For that matter, I always fall asleep to the TV or with a book even now. I can't stand to lay in bed awake, no matter how tired I am. You know, bedtime became much easier for me as a child when I learned to read.

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Old 01-03-2009, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback, mamas.

We have done a series of books on tape but that seems to keep him extra stimulated and he gets up to tell me about the stories.

I probably should limit fluids, etc. after dinner. We usually also let him have water in his bedroom so he'll down 8oz after bedtime which inevitably leads to having to go potty - sometimes 2-3 times.

We did push his bedtime back because he is a night owl just like his mama. We used to try for 8pm. Now we start at 8:30 and finish up after stories, etc. at about 9:00.

I have been reluctant to sleep with him because I don't want him to become dependent on one of us being in bed with him to go to sleep. Especially since he used to do this just fine and now is in a phase where he won't do it. I don't know, maybe more extended lights out cuddles would be good...

I definitely talk to him too much when we put him back to bed! I have got to remember not to talk to him. Its just hard cuz he's so creative and he's always such a chatterbox.

He didn't have a nap today due to a playdate. We'll see how tonight's bedtime goes. Maybe its time to get rid of naps? I hate that though, cuz I need naps right now!

First and foremost, Mama to Owen blahblah.gif (7/21/04), Annalieseenergy.gif  (7/29/09), and somebody new bigeyes.gif  (due Feb 2012), and wife to Andrew (9/12/98). Also passionate about and loving the work I do in Organizational Development.

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